When your girlfriend is in the path of Hurricane Irma (another reason why LDRs suck)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard plenty about Hurricane Irma in recent days. Most of the time when these weather events happen, it is far from home (for me) and although I watch with interest and care for those affected by such events, it is far-removed. I’ve never had personal ties to a hurricane or tornado or any other “Act of God”. But this time is different, and I’ve found myself glued to the news, searching for hope that Hurricane Irma will stop the calamity and stay out at sea. But as with the truckloads of “thoughts and prayers” in such times, my hope has done absolutely nothing.

Bri and Renny live in South Florida, directly in the path of hurricane Irma.  As a result, Bri’s week has been filled with anxiety, stress and difficult decisions: do they stay or do they go? She’s been prepping on her own and carrying the weight of this stress all by herself. She is an infinitely patient and strong person; resilient, too. But this is so much for someone to carry on their own, and frankly, it is agony for me to be so far away from her, unable to offer any help except for emotional support. Sometimes (okay, all the time) being in a long-distance relationship can really suck.

A few days ago, Bri decided to pack up with Renny and drive to North Carolina, where they would stay with a friend. A day later, it looked like Irma was going to be turning eastward, possibly not even hitting land, so Bri changed her mind and decided to stay put.

This morning, she woke up to scarier news. Not only was Irma not turning eastward, she was coming directly for them. It is looking like the impact Irma will have on South Florida may be catastrophic. Dealing with that devastation and potentially being without power, cell phone service and other creature comforts with a small child would be even more strenuous than riding out a hurricane. After hearing reports of it taking upwards of 17 hours for people to get out of the state of Florida, Bri had to make the difficult decision to evacuate with Renny. Alone.

As I type this, she and Renny are driving up the state of Florida with their destination 10+ hours away. Of course, they’ll have to make stops and they’ll be faced with traffic – lots and lots of traffic, as others flee the state. It is going to be much longer than a 10-hour trip. One of my concerns for her is having access to gas. Gas stations in Florida have been running dry. It would be a nightmare for her to be stranded without gas, but I’m not going to give that a moment’s though. Positive thoughts only, right?

For me, driving 6-hours to Pennsylvania alone with Evelyn is stressful, anxiety-producing, even. And Bri is evacuating a hurricane all on her own with her soon-to-be 4 year old daughter (whose birthday is on Saturday!). Thoughts and prayers do nothing for changing the outcome of things, but they can and do soothe people’s hearts when they’re going through trying times. So please join me in sending Bri and Renny all kinds of love across the miles.

Bri wrote about this a couple days ago on her blog, Sensory Share. Have a read if you’d like. Things have changed since then, but it gives you a glimpse into life with a child with autism and how that plays a part in decision making and how it can make the upheaval and change more difficult. 

UPDATE (11:45 am): Bri called, two hours away from home. Places along the highway are boarded up – restaurants and gas stations. She would have 8 hours to go on empty roads (evidently those who were going to leave have already done so) and so, she’s turning around to go back home.


21 thoughts on “When your girlfriend is in the path of Hurricane Irma (another reason why LDRs suck)

    1. Thank you for thinking of them – I know that Bri really appreciates everyone’s good thoughts and love being sent their way! She just wants this over already, and the hurricane really won’t even hit them ’til Sunday! Prolonged agony.

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      1. I know the logistics of it might be impossible, but I wish we could get them on a plane to Toronto today/tomorrow! I think many of us would happily help cover the costs, but I doubt the costs are the real problem right now.
        Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help.

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      2. Thank you so much for your generous offer – Bri and I are both really touched by your continued kindness and thoughtfulness! They’re riding it out and are safe. The storm is there now (the outer bands started last night) and now they have to get through the rest of the day/night and then see what sort of aftermath/damage. I’ll keep everyone posted once it’s all over!

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  1. I was thinking about the 4 of you. I am really sending tonnes and tonnes of positive thoughts and I am really hoping they are all protected from this damage..
    Hugs, Lindsay.. this must be crazy scary, I cannot even begin to imagine how much fear and worry this must be for all of you..

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    1. Thank you so much for thinking of them/us. I am hoping they are protected and their home stays safe. Worried about the aftermath more than the storm, actually – don’t want them to go without power, etc!

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    1. I’m so glad your friend is safe! Did she say what it’s like down there or did she just have time to mark herself as safe? I will keep you posted on Bri as time marches on.

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      1. She just updated as safe. I suspect they’re doing everything they can to conserve power right now. She’s there doing her dissertation research with her husband and 1 year old daughter so I imagine they’re all just focused on the day to day.

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  2. I read her blog post the other day and just felt for her. I am sure you want to just hop in a car or on a plane and be there for them. I will continue to think good thoughts for all of you and the girls and all of the stress and worry you must be feeling. I will be watching for your updates.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. I know your good thoughts mean a lot to Bri. The storm is there now (the outer bands started last night) and now they have to get through the rest of the day/night and then see what sort of aftermath/damage there is. I’ll keep everyone posted once it’s all over!

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